Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way

Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way

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by Charles Bukowski
     
 

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from "neither Shakespeare nor Mickey Spillane"

young young young, only wanting the Word,
going mad in the streets and in the bars,
brutal fights, broken glass, crazy women
screaming in
your cheap room,
you a familiar guest at the drunk tank, North
Avenue 21, Lincoln Heights

sifting through the madness for the Word, the
line

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Overview

from "neither Shakespeare nor Mickey Spillane"

young young young, only wanting the Word,
going mad in the streets and in the bars,
brutal fights, broken glass, crazy women
screaming in
your cheap room,
you a familiar guest at the drunk tank, North
Avenue 21, Lincoln Heights

sifting through the madness for the Word, the
line
the way,
hoping for a check from somewhere,
dreaming of a letter from a great editor:
"Chinaski, you don't know how long we've beenwaiting for you!"

no chance at all.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When HarperCollins and Ecco Press acquired part of the Black Sparrow imprint early this year, one big prize was the sprawling, long-popular oeuvre of Charles Bukowski (Barfly; Ham on Rye; Love Is a Dog from Hell). Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way: New Poems, Bukowski's 10th posthumous volume (with several more planned), collects yet more verse about the troubled, garrulous poet's traveling, gambling, thinking, aging, working, not working, romancing, drinking, self-mythologizing and even eating ("I opened a can of roastbeef hash/ and some pickled beets") as he fought through his blue-collar, beer-hall L.A.
Library Journal
Yet another collection of unpublished poems by the prolific Bukowski (who died in 1994), this is the first volume to appear since the demise of his longtime publisher, Black Sparrow Press. Yet it feels more like a transitional collection than a posthumous one. Readers are introduced to a gentler, mellower "Hank" (his longtime narrator), who admits that "you can't know how good it feels driving in for a wash-/ and wax with nothing to do but light a cigarette and/ wait in the sun with no overdue rent, no troubles to speak of." His bar stool has been replaced by a Jacuzzi, and he mingles with the rich and famous, sitting in the clubhouse at the racetrack. Of course, as he admits in another poem, "old habits often die/ as slowly/ as do/ old men." So we still find the whores, the drunks, and the memories of nights on bar stools and in cheap hotel rooms. This volume is essential for Bukowski fans and an excellent introduction for new readers.-Rochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News," New York Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061979972
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
344,590
File size:
0 MB

Read an Excerpt

sifting through the madness for the Word, the line, the way
new poems

so you want to be a writer?

if it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or
fame,
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don'tdo it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

sifting through the madness for the Word, the line, the way
new poems
. Copyright © by Charles Bukowski. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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